Bleacher Report Predicts Landing Spots for Top 25 MLB Free Agents, Trade Targets

While there have been a few significant moves already in MLB since the World Series wrapped up roughly a month ago, things generally don't get going until the annual winter meetings, which are set for Dec. 4-8 in National Harbor, Maryland. There figures to be no shortage of blockbuster trades and notable free-agent signings during the upcoming four-day event, but before that happens, let's make some predictions. What follows is a look at the top 25 free agents and trade targets on the market with predictions from six of our top MLB writers on where they will land. These six writers made up our panel of prognosticators: Seth Gruen, National MLB Columnist Danny Knobler, MLB Lead Writer Joel Reuter, National MLB Columnist Zachary Rymer, MLB Lead Writer Jacob Shafer, National MLB Columnist Rick Weiner, National MLB Columnist Having six writers weigh in gave us plenty of different opinions, and in the end we only had two consensus predictions among the 25 ...


Korean League MVP Eric Thames Could Be Surprise MLB Offseason Steal

There's a video you can find on the internet showing Eric Thames wearing a crown made of flowers, just after he was named Most Valuable Player last year in South Korea. Good luck finding anything like that from Kris Bryant or Mike Trout. It's a nice ceremony and a nice award, but it's also a pleasant reminder of how different professional baseball is in South Korea, where the NC Dinos play in a ballpark with a center field fence just 381 feet from home plate and where the pitchers rarely throw upper-90s fastballs. Baseball in South Korea is different, which is why it's so tough to know what to make of Thames' new three-year, $16 million contract to be the Milwaukee Brewers' first baseman. It's either the biggest bargain deal for an MVP or the worst shot in the dark on a guy who hit .220 with six home runs in his last ...


Updating the Hottest Questions of the 2016-2017 MLB Offseason, Week 5

The recently signed labor agreement answers so many questions, namely that we’ll have baseball in 2017. But also that free agency is sure to begin in short order. Over the next several weeks, which include the baseball winter meetings, a flurry of deals should be made—both in free agency and the trade market. But given that there has been little action this offseason, there is so much we don’t know about how the next few weeks might play out. And, well, this raises a whole bunch of other questions. Let’s go ahead and try to get some answers.Begin Slideshow


Andrew McCutchen’s Exit Would End One Pirates Era, Usher in a New One

If anyone's having trouble imagining Andrew McCutchen wearing something other than a Pittsburgh Pirates uniform, don't worry. Soon you won't have to. Because it'll be reality. This is according to the hot-stove season's Masters of Whispers. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported Wednesday that McCutchen, a five-time National League All-Star and one-time NL MVP, is the "most likely to go" of the star players on the trading block this winter. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports forcefully concurred: McCutchen, 30, obviously hasn't been moved yet. If the center fielder is still in the same frame of mind he was at the end of the season, he's not sweating it wherever he is. "I'm under contract with them, right? That's the way I'm looking at it," he told MLB.com's Adam Berry. "I don't align the stars. I'm not the person that controls all that. I don't do that. It's all in God's hands." Well, in this case, McCutchen's fate is ...


Jung Ho Kang Charged with Leaving Scene of DUI: Latest Details and Reaction

Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang reportedly was charged with leaving the scene of a DUI, according to Jeeho Yoo of Yonhap News and Sung Min Kim of Vice Sports. Kim shared a photograph of the incident in question: Kim added that "Kang allegedly tried to flee the scene after causing an accident and was caught shortly thereafter." The incident reportedly took place early Friday morning in Seoul, South Korea. Rob Biertempfel of TribLive.com offered more details: Pirates president Frank Coonelly released a statement on Kang, per Stephen J. Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Kang apologized through his management company, courtesy of NBC Sports' Craig Calcaterra: I'd like to apologize to everyone who is disappointed with me. Today, I got behind the wheel after drinking and committed an irrevocable mistake. I panicked at the moment of the accident and did something that I never should have done. I am deeply regretting the incident. I will humbly accept whatever punishment is deemed ...


Jaime Garcia to Braves: Latest Trade Details, Comments and Reaction

Left-handed pitcher Jaime Garcia has spent his entire MLB career with the St. Louis Cardinals, but the Atlanta Braves announced on Thursday they acquired the southpaw in exchange for prospects John Gant, Chris Ellis and Luke Dykstra.  Mark Saxon of ESPN.com first reported the trade. Gant and Ellis are each right-handed pitchers, while Dykstra is an infielder.  MLB.com ranked Ellis, Gant and Dykstra as Atlanta's 17th-, 21st- and 29th-best prospects, respectively, in 2016. Garcia is the headliner in the trade, though he had mixed results in 2016. On one hand, he appeared in 32 games, which tied for his career high and represented significant strides after an injury-marred stretch. He made 20 starts in 2012, nine in 2013, seven in 2014 and 20 in 2015. He underwent season-ending surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome and suffered partial labrum and rotator cuff tears during that span. He also dealt with groin issues in 2015. While Garcia proved he can handle the rigors of an entire ...


Shohei Otani: Latest News, Rumors and Speculation Surrounding Japanese Star

Japanese star Shohei Otani is bound to be one of the most coveted international stars on the free-agent market. The only question is when the 22-year-old will decide to make the leap to MLB. Continue for updates. Latest on Otani, Potential Impact of New CBA Thursday, Dec. 1 On Wednesday, MLB announced (via Sportsnet's Ben Nicholson-Smith) it has tentatively reached an agreement with the players' union on a new collective bargaining agreement. Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan noted the new CBA could have a direct impact on foreign stars such as Otani: Following up, Passan spoke to sources who indicated the CBA could be amended to get Otani and others into the league before they turn 25. "There are ways it could happen," an anonymous MLB official said, per Passan. "I don’t think there is any reason if an international superstar wants to play here we stop it." The New York Post's Joel Sherman talked to another person involved ...


MLB’s Top Prospects Ready to Make Waves in 2016 Winter Ball

The MLB regular season is long over and the Arizona Fall League recently wrapped up, but there's still baseball being played in the Caribbean as a number of prospects and fringe veterans are working hard in the various winter leagues. The Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and Mexico all play host to competitive winter leagues, with the winners from those four leagues and the Cuban national team converging for the annual Caribbean Series at the beginning of February. These winter leagues have been going strong since late October, so let's check in on how some of the league's top prospects are faring in 2016 winter ball. We've broken things down by position, highlighting the top two or three guys based not only on production in winter ball but on their current prospect standings.      Note: All prospect rankings courtesy of MLB.com's Prospect Watch.Begin Slideshow


Playing Fact or Fiction with All of MLB’s Hottest Pre-2016 Winter Meetings Buzz

Labor peace has returned to baseball, ending the veiled threats of lockouts and boycotts of the winter meetings, which are set to begin next week. That's good news. It's even better news—and a stone-cold fact—that sanity has returned to MLB's All-Star Game, which will no longer have any World Series implications associated with it. That alone makes the new collective bargaining agreement a rousing success. As Bleacher Report's Jacob Shafer wrote Wednesday, the offseason should really start to get interesting now.  Has the return of a team's adopted prodigal son forced one of his teammates out the door? Will a fringe contender look to unload an All-Star talent? Is the face of one of baseball's oldest franchises about to change for the first time in nearly a decade? We'll hit on all that and more in this week's edition of Fact or Fiction. Begin Slideshow


Scott Miller’s Starting 9: Verlander, Sale Talks Could Heat Up Winter Meetings

Oh, the weather outside is frightful, and the free-agent market is less than delightful…     1. Let It Snow Trade Rumors Yes, free agent Yoenis Cespedes re-signed with the Mets this week, which means Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista may not be far behind, and doesn't that get your blood pressure pumping. No? As the industry descends upon Washington, D.C., for the winter meetings beginning Monday (well, really, they begin in the hotel bar and lobby Sunday night), this year's featherweight free-agent class is putting a drag on things. But maybe not everything. The Detroit Tigers have hinted at rebuilding, and rivals see a potential trade opening with Justin Verlander. The Chicago White Sox talked seriously last summer with the Boston Red Sox about lefty ace Chris Sale and are expected to continue investigating what kind of package he could bring. Tampa Bay is stocked with pitching but has little offense, and even Chris Archer ...


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